Last updated on May 6th, 2022
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From cutting logs for your wood burner as I do regularly, to cutting back overgrown trees and large shrubs, a chainsaw can offer amazing benefits but don’t forget they are not a toy. Obviously, there are several types of chainsaws available, including electric, cordless and petrol models. Most of which I have now been reviewing for over 5 years. My focus today, however, is on cordless chainsaws and with so many brands offering these chainsaws, it can be difficult to choose the best cordless chainsaw.
What I found when I first started digging into the world of cordless chainsaws (I was previously a petrol chainsaw user) there is a lot to think about before buying one. First and foremost is your personal safety, which is why we recommend buying a chainsaw that has been crafted with safety in mind, think big brands that have a lot to lose. But don’t leave everything to the manufacturer as it is your own duty to ensure that you are in the correct attire to use a chainsaw. Consider tough garden gloves, chainsaw safety boots and chainsaw trousers as well as taking a chainsaw course or at the very least, reading a book on chainsaw safety.
With that in mind, I have listed what we consider to be some of the very best cordless chainsaws currently on the market and you can find detailed information about each model in our cordless chainsaw review section further down.
After comparing many models and testing for many months, I think the Ryobi Premium OCS1830 18V Cordless Chainsaw stands out from the rest when it comes to general home use and for those who are looking for something with a little more power and still being affordable at the same time.
Top 5 Cordless Chainsaw Reviews
1. Ryobi OCS1830 18V 30cm ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw
So, I will start by saying I now use the Ryobi OCS1830 18V 30cm Cordless Chainsaw as my go-to chainsaw. It seems barely worth the hassle of getting my petrol alternative out of the garage these days. And as for how other cordless models go, some models are maybe slightly better, for example, the Dewalt model that I have also reviewed further down. However, none are as affordable whilst still maintaining a decent performance and battery run time as this brushless model by Ryobi, when used with the 18v 5Ah battery, which is what I use.
What I will mention is, when it was delivered, there was a little assembly to do but it is fairly straightforward. I just needed to fix the chainsaw bar and chain in place and use the dial to fix it into position and tighten the chain. It takes around 5 minutes, you don’t need any tools and it is ready to use. It is also worth noting that you are required to do this with most other models too, but Ryobi has made this so easy with their design.
So when I purchased this model I had to order the battery and charger separately. I went for the more expensive fast charger that charges the larger 18v 5ah and 6h batteries within 60 minutes. If my battery runs out, all I usually do is grab a brew and some dinner, and when I return it is ready to go again with a full charge.
Something else to take into consideration is the Ryobi 18V 30cm Cordless Chainsaw is part of Ryobi’s One+ battery tools that use the same battery. With this in mind, if you already have other Ryobi tools you probably already have a compatible battery or two.
So how long does it last and how well does it cut?
Well, this largely depends on how much cutting you need to accomplish and the size of the logs, plus the battery you invest in or already have.
The picture above shows you how many logs I was able to cut from a single charge using the 18v 5Ah battery. This gave me about 45 minutes of cutting time. I also put it through its paces with some much larger logs (as shown below) and it handled them well but the battery only lasted around 30 minutes. For most people, you can probably expect to get the 45 minutes for the average size logs you are likely to cut.
I did look at investing in the larger RYOBI rechargeable 18 V – 9 Ah battery that would give me around 3 hours with the chainsaw. However, the price is steep but you can check it out here if you are interested.
Something else that was immediately noticeable was how lightweight and portable it is as it weighs just 2.5kg without the battery, meaning it is comfortable to use and still one of the lightest models, even with the battery.
It comes with a 30cm Oregon bar and chain and benefits from an automatic oiling system for added convenience, as shown above. It does also have a viewing window to check the level of the oil, but it is just as easy to see by removing the cap, if not easier.
The chain can also be adjusted swiftly and easily due to tool-less tensioning (like all the other models I have highlighted).
While a complete wrap-around handle with over-mould allows you to use it in any orientation, something that is helpful if you want to reach awkward areas such as felling a small tree.
Another great feature I like is the dual brake, which includes a motor brake and a mechanical chain brake for increased safety. The chainsaw can stop running immediately when you activate the brake mechanism, just in case there is a need to do so.
I know I have already mentioned this but I really like the fact it uses a brushless motor, the machine provides a superb cutting experience in terms of power and torque and did prove to be very reliable. It operates quietly in chainsaw terms, requires no maintenance except for keeping the chain sharpened and the oil tank for the automatic chain lubrication topped-up.
- Equipped with a high-performance brushless motor for an outstanding cutting experience.
- Features an automatic oiling system for operator convenience.
- Tool-less chain tensioning that saves time and energy for manual operation.
- Chain speed of 10 m/s.
- Comfortable to use in any orientation thanks to rear handle with overmould.
- Features a dual brake system for maximum safety during use.
- Part of the Ryobi + One system, meaning its battery can be used to power other tools in the same range.
- Low cost chainsaw that is ideal for domestic use.
All things considered, this is a cracking chainsaw for cutting logs to make into firewood at home or even felling small trees. I would even go as far as saying this is the one model I would recommend to most people. Honestly, as long as you are not looking for a professional model for intensive use, you can’t really go wrong with this model. Just make sure you have some 4ah or 5ah batteries so you get a reasonable run time from it. Quality-wise, it’s good, in fact, it’s better than good, it really does feel like a premium product.
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2. BLACK+DECKER GKC3630L20-GB 36 V Lithium-Ion Chainsaw
Now a more budget-friendly chainsaw for home use when taking everything into account from build quality to performance and price. The Black + Decker 36v Lithium-Ion Chainsaw comes with the battery and charger so you are ready to go straight from the box, perfect for home users who may not require just the bare tool. This model is a prime example of a well-constructed, durable and heavy-duty technology designed for more domestic use. The 36V chainsaw has been designed with plenty of positive features that will appeal to a large audience, which is probably why it’s such a popular choice.
First off is its clever design. Despite weighing a mere 3.8kg, the machine is incredibly hard-wearing and is equally suited to both small and big jobs, something that’s concealed behind its low weight. The lightweight profile also makes it easy to carry and transport, making it great for both home and more lightweight professional applications. It is really designed for the home user, but someone who might have a fair bit of work to do may want something a little more demanding.
Its powerful 36V battery provides more than enough power to complete a range of tasks such as tree felling, cutting up firewood for your stove as well as general trimming and clearing jobs. Furthermore, the battery is strategically placed to help distribute weight evenly, though the design of the chainsaw is geared up towards operator comfort thanks to its ergonomic handles.
The tension of the chain can be adjusted with a tool-free dial, saving you time and energy for what is traditionally been a bit of a task when using tools. Integral to this chainsaw is the automatic oil system that has the added advantage of being leak-free obviously to prevent oil loss. There is also a built-in oil gauge that lets you see exactly when the oil tank needs to be refilled. Even more, the machine can be positioned to lie flat on its side giving you better access to the oil tank. What all this basically means, is you don’t need to keep stopping and oiling the chain manually as it takes care of this for you. To be fair, most models have now adapted this tool-free chain tensioning system and self-lubricated feature, although some petrol models still require this to be done manually.
Safety was evidently an important consideration in this chainsaw’s construction. The machine has a lock-off safety switch, whereby two switches must be pressed simultaneously for the chainsaw to start, this ensures that two hands are on the chainsaw for it to run, so as to prevent any avoidable accidents. This eliminates the chance of accidental activation which can be dangerous.
The main handle features a rubber grip to prevent your hands from slipping, while the secondary handle is separate. The chainsaw has additionally been designed to allow the chain and blade to be visible to you throughout, eliminating the worry of accidentally coming into contact with the sharp blade whilst the machine is running.
- Perfect for home use, for cutting firewood, felling trees and general work.
- Lightweight and ergonomically designed for the user’s comfort.
- Comes with a powerful 36V battery to ensure a heavy-duty cutting performance.
- Evenly balanced tool thanks to the positioning of the handles and the lightweight design.
- Quick and easy chain tensioning with tool-free dial for easier maintenance.
- Automatic oil system means no stopping and starting to oil the chain and there is a small window for you to identify when the oil needs to be refilled.
- Built-in lock-off safety feature for non-accidental starting.
- 2 years warranty for full peace of mind.
Overall, this Black + Decker 36v chainsaw is designed to be comfortable to use from start to finish and its large battery offers ample power to complete jobs with a good running time. If you are looking for a more affordable chainsaw without losing power and something that will last for more domestic home use, this model is well worth considering and comes with everything you need, including the battery and charger, unlike most other models.
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3. Makita DUC353Z Twin 18V 36V Li-Ion LXT Brushless 350mm Chainsaw
The Makita DUC353Z Cordless Chainsaw comes equipped with both kickback and electric brakes as you would expect, something that proves without a doubt that user safety is at the forefront of its design. It also incorporates a powerful brushless motor that is ideally suited to heavy-duty work where reliability is important. It features a speed control mechanism that regulates and maintains its speed when taking on those heavy-duty jobs, this just improves the performance overall.
The chainsaw is actually powered by two 18V Lithium-Ion batteries but they will need to be purchased separately unless of course you are already a Makita fan and have compatible batteries from other power tools.
It is convenient to handle during jobs because it doesn’t require any cords or special tools. As with all cordless electric chainsaws, this chainsaw tool is less fussy as there are no changing of spark plugs, no oil and air filters to change or clean. This is important as this model is a great alternative to petrol models.
This battery-powered chainsaw has a large oil dispenser with a small window that makes refilling easy and allows you to keep an eye on the oil level. This just means no stopping and starting to lubricate the chain. There is also a battery indicator to indicate the charge level of each battery, something that is only fitted to the more premium battery-powered models.
The Makita DUC353Z weighs around 5kg therefore relatively lightweight compared to some petrol models, making it easy to handle for longer periods of time. Finally, a standout attribute of this tool is the innovative LXT battery technology that really improves its efficiency. In addition, it features Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) to offer protection against water and dust.
- Perfect for professional tree surgeons and for those looking for a serious chainsaw.
- Boasts extreme protection technology (XPT) that ensures maximum dust and water resistance in harsh working areas.
- Brushless motor for ultimate reliability and performance.
- Automatic oiling system and tool-less chain tensioner.
- Anti-Vibration system that ensures the machine easy to handle and less noisy. You can actually hear the chain cutting rather than the sound of a loud engine.
- Fitted with metal spike bumper that allows a tight grip of the machine for maximum control and easy wood cutting.
- Features LED battery indicators to display charge level so you know when you are low on power.
- Includes kickback and electric brakes for user safety.
- 3 years warranty when you register online with Makita.
Considering its power, variable speed and technologically advanced features, we find the Makita DUC353Z is well suited for professional use or home users who are looking for a premium chainsaw. It is not cheap, even as a bare tool, but you will struggle to find a better chainsaw. Don’t forget it even comes with a 3-year warranty when you register it online for extra peace of mind.
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4. Oregon Cordless Chainsaw
The Oregon CS300 Cordless Chainsaw falls in the mid-range price region and it boasts convenient features that make it a popular offering amongst chainsaw owners. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this model uses a battery that isn’t that powerful enough because, the innovative technology this model has combined with Lithium-Ion battery technology, the chainsaw offers a great deal of power for instant cutting through trees and tree limbs.
A standout feature of this model is its built-in sharpener (which no other model has) and what an impressive feature it is. This will sharpen your chain every time you need to and will save you so much time and money in the long run, plus it is relatively easy to do, with no skill needed.
Professional landscapers or home users will really appreciate this feature because they won’t have to stop and remove the chain to sharpen it manually. You pull the red lever back whilst pressing the chainsaw trigger and it automatically sharpens the chain. It is that simple, it seems too good to be true but it is actually true and works great.
What’s more? Lithium-Ion battery technology provides long-lasting power and the chainsaws brushless motor provides a reliable combination of speed and torque whilst remaining incredibly hard-wearing. There is a professional handguard that ensures maximum protection when the chain is running, whilst an instant start function allows fuss-free starting each time.
Of course, this model is battery-powered, so you will never encounter harmful emissions that can also have an adverse effect on the environment. At 5.2kg, this model is a bit heavier than the Black + Decker chainsaw, however, it is still considered a lightweight chainsaw. This means less strain on yourself, even when cutting for prolonged periods of time making it a great choice for professional tree surgeons and gardeners.
The Oregon brand has been with us for some years now and it’s clear from the look of the build that they know what people want in terms of chainsaw functionality.
- A well designed chainsaw for the home user.
- Lithium-Ion battery technology guarantees longer runtimes and quick charging.
- Includes a built-in sharpener for effortless chain sharpening, which we think is a really clever idea.
- Comes with a brushless motor that delivers high speed, torque and reliability.
- Lightweight chainsaw compared to petrol models weighing 5.2kg together with battery so it is suitable for longer use.
- Tool-less tensioner that saves you time and effort.
- Includes a hand guard for safe operation.
The Oregon CS300 model tends to appeal to professionals but it undoubtedly has major benefits for domestic applications too. The self-sharpening ability is not something to pass for anyone looking for a pretty convenient chainsaw with super performance and excellent features. It is not what you might consider budget-friendly but it’s not overly expensive either.
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5. DeWalt DCM575X1 XR Flexvolt Chainsaw
The DEWALT DCM575X1 XR Flexvolt Chainsaw is an intelligently designed machine that is suitable for both large and small projects and is probably the best choice for professional tree surgeons, maybe even beating Makita, but the extra points come at a price.
Firstly, the Flexvolt technology can adjust the voltage of the battery from 20V to 60V, tripling the power you need to complete a variety of tasks from easy-going trimming jobs to the more demanding job of logging thicker logs. Even at the default 54V, this battery can do a whole lot in a fraction of the time that the 18V and 36V models take, and for most professionals time is money, making this is a huge advantage. Fitted with a 40cm Oregon chain, this chainsaw is ideal for cutting thicker trees and larger logs than some of the smaller models with 30cm bars.
This model has a handy flip-up tab on the oil cap that has a large diameter that makes it easy to add oil and open the cap with a quarter turn. Not to mention, the DeWalt DCM575X1 chain is quickly adjustable using the tool-free bar fitment, which makes altering the chain tension super easy without the need for tools.
This DeWalt model also features a mechanical lockout. The chainsaw also features a chain brake, which if activated, can instantly stop the chain in its track. Keeping in mind that this chain spins at an incredible 15m/s, the brake can be life-saving in the event of kickback.
The chainsaw is also equipped with a variable speed trigger that offers sufficient control when working in different situations. For effective handling, the handle has an extensive over-mould that also increases comfort if you are using the machine for prolonged periods of time.
- A top choice for professional tree surgeons and gardeners with plenty of power and it is very robust.
- Outfitted with a high-efficiency brushless motor for excellent cutting performance.
- Part of DEWALT’s FlexVolt range of power tools that provide the same performance to corded models and even comparable to petrol chainsaws.
- Automatic oiling that ensures the chain is properly oiled whilst running for best results.
- Fitted with a 40cm Oregon bar and chain for medium to heavy-duty cutting jobs.
- 3 years warranty when you register online for extra peace of mind.
If the idea of flexible power output appeals to you, along with plenty of power and a build quality most models cannot come close to, this could be for you. However, it’s quite expensive so is probably only a good investment for professional tree surgeons. Don’t forget it also comes with 3 years warranty when you register online.
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Cordless Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide
To purchase a cordless chainsaw that suits your needs, you must be familiar with the basics. This brief buying guide has all the essential information you will need to get started when choosing the best cordless chainsaw that is right for the task you intend to tackle.
Why buy a cordless chainsaw?
As the name suggests, cordless chainsaws are powered by a battery, specifically Lithium-Ion batteries which, over the last few years, have improved in leaps and bounds with longer run times as well as faster charging times, sometimes in as little as 60 minutes. The lack of a cord makes them more versatile than electric models and some of the newer models are now just as powerful whilst still being much lower in terms of maintenance than petrol alternatives, not to mention much quieter.
Cordless chainsaws are designed to serve the needs of the average user but some models are powerful enough for professional use (from big brands such as DeWalt and Makita) while Black & Decker focus more on the domestic home user and those looking for a powerful but reliable model that doesn’t cost the earth.
In summary, it can be well worth investing in a cordless chainsaw if:
- You want complete freedom to roam without the restriction of a cord.
- You want to avoid the high service maintenance of petrol alternatives.
- You tend to perform lighter jobs at home although there are now some good professional grade models that are comparable to petrol models in terms of raw power.
- You need a lightweight and portable chainsaw.
Factors to consider before buying a cordless chainsaw
Guide bar length
This refers to the active cutting length of the blade. In simple terms, the largest size length of material the chainsaw can cut in one pass. The blade is usually designed to cut nearly twice its length in one pass, meaning a 30cm-long blade can cut across 60cm inches of wood if used correctly. As a general rule of thumb, go for a guide bar length that is 5cm longer than the wood you plan to cut. This is obviously not that easy to consider as many logs are different sizes but for the home user cutting up firewood a 30cm bar would be suitable.
Safety features such as anti-kickback, brake systems and hand guards
Almost every cordless chainsaw has been designed with safety in mind, however, safety features vary from model to model.
Kickbacks are reportedly the most frequent causes of chainsaw injuries and can be very serious. If you are new to using chainsaws, kickback is when the blade makes a sudden upward movement. It happens when the edge of the blade hits an object that causes the chain to snag for a short while. To reduce the chances of the blade forcing its way up and causing potential injury, make sure to purchase a model that has an anti-kickback feature.
A dual brake system that can stop the cutting blade instantly if the chainsaw comes to an abrupt stop. As an added bonus, consider tool-less chain adjustment so that you can control the blade tension quickly and efficiently without having to start messing around with tools.
Other safety features include handguards for safe operation, a safety trigger that must be pressed at all times for the chainsaw to operate, this usually ensures you have to have two hands on the chainsaw before starting it and a blade cover for when the chainsaw is not in use.
Automatic oiling system
An automatic oiling system is another great addition. It allows the chain to lubricate itself while still running. This can be seen on all the best models, not long ago with most models you had to stop and lubricate the chainsaw every 15 minutes. This takes time and forgetting can result in poor cutting performance and a damaged chain.
Chainsaw size and weight
The larger the chainsaw is, the more difficult it is to use. Ideally, never take more than you can handle. The good thing with cordless chainsaws is that most models are much lighter than petrol models even with large battery packs attached, for example, the Ryobi OCS1830 model (pictured below) is a winner in this department because it weighs just 2.5kg. A well-balanced power tool is also easy to work with and more enjoyable to use.
Chainsaw protective clothing
The importance of investing in chainsaw protective clothing cannot be overemphasised. Here’s what you will need:
- Hard wearing gloves to protect your hands.
- Safety glasses to shield your eyes from flying wood chips.
- Chainsaw boots to protect your feet from wood that might fall on them and of course the chainsaw. See our recommended chainsaw boots.
- Chainsaw helmet, especially if you intend to cut down trees, some come with visors and this means you won’t need to use safety glasses. See our recommended chainsaw helmets.
- Chainsaw trousers to protect your legs from the chainsaw. See our recommended chainsaw trousers.
Hopefully, our cordless chainsaw reviews have given you an insight into what the best battery-powered chainsaw looks like. Whether you are looking for the best battery chainsaw under £200 or even a more expensive option like the DEWALT DCM575X1 XR Flexvolt Chainsaw, we have made sure that there is something for everyone. We also considered brands that most of us know and trust – the likes of Black + Decker, Makita, DeWalt and Ryobi. That’s it from us and over to you!
One last thought, if you already own certain branded power tools that you trust with compatible batteries such as Makita, all of the above chainsaws can be purchased as bare tools so it might make sense to buy the bare tool to save yourself some extra money.
If you don’t have any power tools and just need a chainsaw for making firewood, our pick below with battery and charger will probably be the best choice for you.
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Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API